Category:Edward Exley Ltd

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Toy Brands and Manufacturers

Exley logo, circa 1955.jpg

Edward Exley Ltd

1920s -     

Edward Exley & Co. were founded in around 1923, and initially made gauge 0 and gauge 1 locomotives that ran under clockwork, steam, and electrical power, with 00-gauge (4mm scale) locos and coaches joining the range as the new scale gained popularity.

Exley were closely associated with Mills Brothers, and supplied Bassett-Lowke with B-L's "scale length" range of coaches. They became a limited company in 1947.

Market position

Exley's approach is probably best expressed by a quote from John Ruskin that featured in their catalogue:

All works of taste must bear a price in proportion to the skill, taste, time, expense and risk attending their manufacture. These things called dear are, when JUSTLY estimated, the cheapest. They are attended with much less profit to the maker than these things which everyone calls cheap.

Factory fire and cessation of gauge 0 construction

In 1962 the factory was destroyed by fire, and Edward Exley took over Milbro.

By 1968, the company's catalogue was dominated by 00-gauge models and accessories, and although the front of the catalogue was still devoted to gauge 0 (7mm scale), these were only seven pages of a 32-page booklet, and only listed parts and accessories and support services rather than new items.

Owing to the destruction of the factory by fire some years ago, new coaches are not available, but second-hand vehicles after overhaul and repainting are from time to time on sale. Clients should write and ascertain if their requirements are available.

A full service of repairs maintenance and repainting in any livery is available. Details on request. The list of coaches below is for reference only as to the various types made during the last 41 years.

Edward Exley Ltd ceased trading in 1995, and the brand was revived as a specialist manufacturer in the late 1990's, and again in 2004.

1968 catalogue description:


Gauge "1", "0", "00", H0" & "TT" miniature railway equipment – industrial and exhibition models of all types and of the highest quality – hand-made locomotives (specifications and estimates given free) – track parts – electrical equipment (controllers, solenoid motors, control panels, etc. ) – coaches and rolling stock – lever frames – accessories of every kind – instructional, industrial, experimental and ship models

Contractors to:

Cumberland County Council Education Committee – Harvard University, Cambridge. Mass., U.S.A. – The Railway Companies – The War Office – Industry – South African Railways – The Festival of Britain (1951) – The Research Institute – The Nigerian Railways Corporation – The Director General – The High Commission Of India – United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority – South Peel Board Of Education, Canada – Royal Naval Engineering College, Plymouth – Royal Military College Of Science, Shrivenham – Peninsula Testing And Controls Inc., U.S.A. – British Railways Engineering Research Division, Derby – Batley Borough Art Gallery & Museum – Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway Co.

platform furniture – books and technical publications – lineside equipment – signal parts – photography of models a speciality – locomotive and rolling stock conversions

Distributors for – A.C.E.M. Products, Beeson's Fine Products, Hills Precision Manufactures

World Distributors for – Edward Exley & Co.

Repairers for – Exley Locomotives and Coaches – rebuilding – repainting

Agents for – Anbrico Models – Bassett-Lowke Ltd. – C.C.W. Ltd. – Peter Carter – Hammet And Morgan – Kenyon Scale Architecture – George E. MellorK’s – The Romford Model Co. Ltd. – Walkers and Holtzapffel – Pocher Continental Railways (Italian) – Eheim Trolley Bus System (German) – Fulgurex S.A. (Swiss) – Walter Merten Figures, Animals And Scenic Pieces (German)

Sole United Kingdom Importers and Distributors forHamo Electric Tramway System (German)

Sole Suppliers of "MILLBRO EQUIPMENT" for Gauges "I", "0" and "00" (Mills Bros., Ltd., Sheffield)


  • Edward Exley & Co., 522 Little Horton Lane, Bradford – (1939)
  • Edward Exley Ltd., The Ridge, Eaton Hill, Baslow, Derbyshire – (1962)

In the museum

As of January 2015, most of the Exley rolling stock on our 1930s layout isn't yet listed online.

Most notable (now that the Coronation Scot nine-car set has been put back into storage to free up space) are:

  • A rather glorious red rake of Exley LMS coaches, pre-and post-war, ending in a rare inspector's car.
  • A pre-war rake of Great Western coaches, and
  • A pre-war rake of darker red LMS coaches, with a pair of London and North Western Railway coaches. This was a totally typical prewar arrangement – after the LNW was absorbed into the LMS, repainting the coaches wasn't a priority, and it was common for one or two pieces of LNW-liveried stock to be included in an LMS train at busy times when they were needed to make up the numbers.

Further reading

  • Pat Hammond, Ramsay's British Model Trains Catalogue (6th Edition, 2008) pp.143-151 ISBN 9780955619489

External links


This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.